The Urban Voodoo Machine are an 11-piece London band who come on like a raucous answer to New York’s Hazmat Modine. The lineup includes brass, fiddle, accordion, harmonica, standup bass and guitar, and their influences range from New Orleans Mardi Gras styles to gospel, folk-blues and rockabilly, with Balkan gypsy brass added in. They are furiously energetic and versatile, switching from the witty honky-tonk story of a reformed low-life, Pipe & Slippers Man, to a bleak narrative ballad, Loretta’s Revenge, featuring Mexican-influenced brass, through to the bluesy Latin pop of Jimmy Cuba, or a stomping gospel piece, Help Me Jesus, on which Wilko Johnson adds guitar and vocals. Their main problem, as well as main asset, is singer-songwriter Paul-Romney Angel, who tackles his intriguing songs in an over-theatrical style. If he calmed down he would sound more exciting.
The Guardian, Thursday 11 September 2014
Four out of five stars